A History of English Laughter: Laughter from Beowulf to Beckett and Beyond (Google eBook)

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Manfred Pfister
Rodopi, Jan 1, 2002 - English Literature - 201 pages
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Is there a 'history' of laughter? Or isn't laughter an anthropological constant rather and thus beyond history, a human feature that has defined humanity as homo ridens from cave man and cave woman to us? The contributors to this collection of essays believe that laughter does have a history and try to identify continuities and turning points of this history by studying a series of English texts, both canonical and non-canonical, from Anglosaxon to contemporary. As this is not another book on the history of the comic or of comedy it does not restrict itself to comic genres; some of the essays actually go out of their way to discover laughter at the margins of texts where one would not have expected it all - in Beowulf, or Paradise Lost or the Gothic Novel. Laughter at the margins of texts, which often coincides with laughter from the margins of society and its orthodoxies, is one of the special concerns of this book.
  

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Contents

Andrew James Jobnston
17
Indira Ghose
35
Wemer von Koppenfels
57
Ute Bems
83
Merle Tonnies
99
Tobias Doring
121
Jeremy Lane
137
Renate Brosch
153
Manfred Pfister
175
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